Chinese broccoli, or gai lan, is a rare find in most supermarkets. If you are lucky enough to have a local Asian market, you should be able to get this leafy green vegetable. Chinese broccoli has long, thin, green stalks and and dark green leaves. Although both parts are edible, you must separate them before cooking because the stalks take longer to cook. The best way to cook Chinese broccoli is to stir-fry it.
Things You'll Need
Wash the Chinese broccoli and separate the leaves and stems by pulling the leaves gently until they detach from the stem. If there are flower buds attached to the stem, cut them off and discard them.
Place the stems on a cutting board and cut them into small pieces, approximately 3 inches in length.
Place the stems in a pot and add about 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Leave the pot uncovered and let the Chinese broccoli stems cook for about 4 minutes. Drain the water.
Pour the oil into the wok or frying pan. Heat on high until the oil reaches its smoking point. Watch the oil carefully. When the surface shimmers, it is hot enough for stir-frying.
Add the stalks to the heated oil. After they have cooked for 2 to 3 minutes add the leaves. Stir the broccoli constantly with a spatula for approximately 2 more minutes, until the leaves have wilted. Serve with rice.
You can add additional flavor to your Chinese broccoli by adding garlic to the oil as you heat it.
You can also add 1 tbsp. of either soy sauce or oyster sauce to the broccoli.
References and Resources"How to Cook Everything Vegetarian"; Mark Bittman; 2007
Healthy Cooking Recipes: Chinese Vegetable Recipes
Victoria Granof; Chinese Broccoli; April 2008